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Old 01-03-2011, 09:23 AM   #21
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No freezer here, but we did just buy a larger refrigerator, which seems more than large enough, including the freezer section.

One thing that surprised me was how much refrigerator efficiency has increased since we bought the old refrigerator in 1987. Power usage is about 1/3 the old one. So if you have an old fridge grinding away in a basement or garage, you might find that you are wasting a lot of electricity.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:26 AM   #22
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Well. Some very diverse opinions. Now I'm really confused!
Anyone have both a chest type and a stand up want to offer an opinion of which one you prefer and use most? I know it's energy costs versus convenience I guess.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:31 AM   #23
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We have a 14 cf upright Frigidaire. We use it a lot! However, we live 30 miles from the closest Walmart, and fifteen miles from the closest grocery store. We buy in bulk. We do, however, tend to loose things amongst the clutter now and then.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:34 AM   #24
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One thing that surprised me was how much refrigerator efficiency has increased since we bought the old refrigerator in 1987. Power usage is about 1/3 the old one. So if you have an old fridge grinding away in a basement or garage, you might find that you are wasting a lot of electricity.
+1

There was a big effort in the early 90's to improve refrigerator efficiency and what you buy today will use half or less the energy of a fridge made before 1990.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:35 AM   #25
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Well. Some very diverse opinions. Now I'm really confused!
Anyone have both a chest type and a stand up want to offer an opinion of which one you prefer and use most? I know it's energy costs versus convenience I guess.
See post 16.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:47 AM   #26
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Oh man! I was thinking about showing your post to my wife and said "Honey, let's go do a similar inventory of our freezer burnt wonderful frozen food that YOU got on sales in 2000", but then decided against it. We have no idea what is in the two refrigerators of ours. My wife claims she does, but if I say I suspect she doesn't, well, you know...

Would not want to start up a fight on a day just after New Year Day.
I (a member of the male species) have fallen into the role of domestic engineer in charge of freezer capacity and utilization. The operational constraints placed on my duties are that we have enough food to eat when DW wants it, and not too much that it makes it impossible to access what we have.

As a result, we have very little waste, or "operational inefficiencies" as I call them. No 3 year old half off steaks (that were certainly a sweet deal back in 2007) covered in 6" of freezer frost. I'm the one telling DW "it's time to have steak and BBQ, they are reaching the 3 month mark!"
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:04 AM   #27
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Well. Some very diverse opinions. Now I'm really confused!
Anyone have both a chest type and a stand up want to offer an opinion of which one you prefer and use most? I know it's energy costs versus convenience I guess.
We haven't bought one yet, mainly due to the "too much stuff already" issue, but when I was doing research on it I decided on a chest type. Cold air drops, so when you open an upright freezer all the cold falls out. With the chest ones it stays in the box. I'm a sucker for efficiency. We currently have a side by side, and I lose stuff in the freezer section just fine, so I don't think it's really that much more convenient. And we've got the fridge hooked up to the generator, so we don't have the power outage/thaw problem.
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Old 01-03-2011, 11:34 AM   #28
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What do you do with all that? Unless you have a platoon of new recruits from the local military base stopping by for dinner every night, it sounds like you're trying to limit shopping to one trip a year....... I enjoy prowling around the markets for meal ideas.

With just DW and myself at home, I make one trip per week (or so) for fresh dairy, baked goods, fruit and veggies. Anything low in the freezer or pantry gets replinished then.

Not saying that what you're doing isn't the right thing for you, just that I can't imagine making bulk purchases for just the two of us. As it is, I need to dig around every couple of months and make sure I'm not overlooking items in the freezer or pantry that are getting old.
My idea of bulk shopping is 3 lb meat packages, 2 lbs of butter, a dozen sub rolls, or 5 lb bags of shredded or sliced cheese.
I divide it into 1/2 to 3/4 pound packages and use as needed.
I can see open space in my deep freezer. It is not crammed full.

It might help to remember I live WAAAAY out in the country and am trying to keep my gas costs at a minimum. Last price at the pump, a few days ago, was $3.23 per gallon. I have a 10 mile one-way trip to consider.
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:18 PM   #29
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My idea of bulk shopping is 3 lb meat packages, 2 lbs of butter, a dozen sub rolls, or 5 lb bags of shredded or sliced cheese.
I divide it into 1/2 to 3/4 pound packages and use as needed.
I can see open space in my deep freezer. It is not crammed full.

It might help to remember I live WAAAAY out in the country and am trying to keep my gas costs at a minimum. Last price at the pump, a few days ago, was $3.23 per gallon. I have a 10 mile one-way trip to consider.
Oh... well that makes sense then. When you said "bulk" I was visioning "BULK!" And, as mentioned in my previous post, geopgraphic location and accessibility to high quality, competitively priced markets would be a big part of the decision.

Like FUEGO, stopping by the bakery, butcher, produce market, fish market or one of the local ethnic-based markets and looking for treats and meal ideas is actually fun for me. And we prefer fresh over frozen and fresh veggies and fruits are readily available year around here in urban-land. But if I had a long drive to shop, or if we weren't in a diverse area with many shopping opportunities, that would be another issue altogether.

There are a few times each year when it would be nice to have some extra freezer space though. We fish as a recreational activity and by autumn frozen filets are starting to take up a chunk of our limited freezer space. And once in a while the "bargain hunter" urge overcomes me, especially when the weather is first warming up and I'm starting to do a lot of grilling on the Weber. Those humongous pork loins I see in the meat section at Costco or Sam's seem like such a bargain compared to picking up a couple of premium American Cut chops over at the butcher.
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:47 PM   #30
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I recommend a self-defrosting upright freezer.

I have a recent Samsung 26 cu ft french door fridge in the kitchen. I love it. It holds a lot. BUT: not enough room for ME in the large freezer. I like to cook soups and stews and have food on hand.

When we bought the fridge, we already had a 14 cu ft cheap fridge in the garage, and a 13 cu ft upright freezer in the garage. The freezers are all pretty full right now - I bake a lot and store grains in them which take up space.

The upright freezer is probably 20 years old - I keep waiting for it to die. It keeps living. I will buy another upright - it's easier to see what's in there, for me (short woman). I will buy self-defrosting - that wasn't available at the time.

Like a lot of you I buy in bulk at Costco or wherever on sale. We don't actually throw that much frozen food out. Once in a while something goes (the case of the missing Italian sausage) but not too often. I don't have a list on the door but I do have a couple of plastic bins I bought so I can find things. Frozen veggies tend to vanish if not contained somehow. They also multiply... because I buy some on sale and then find the older ones...

And there are only 2 of us...

By the way, your homeowner's insurance covers food that spoils when there's a power outage. Or at least, mine did. I got $600 (approx.) when I lost power for 5 days.
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:51 PM   #31
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Well. Some very diverse opinions. Now I'm really confused!
Anyone have both a chest type and a stand up want to offer an opinion of which one you prefer and use most? I know it's energy costs versus convenience I guess.
When we did the comparisons, we chose the chest unit manual defrost vs. upright frost free of same cu ft (16). Cost was almost double for the upright. The chest unit has 4 trays so it's pretty easy to move things/find things. If cost is a big concern, it's a no brainer, we paid under $300 with all the rebates/incentives and at $36/yr electric estimates sealed it for us.
I checked the unit w/my P3 Kill A Watt meter and it completely shuts downs the compressor for a lot of the time. This was a big factor in trashing one of my old 1991 uprights, the energy draw was too high and didn't want to bother repairing a 20 yr old compressor.
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:56 PM   #32
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The other consideration is how much room you have - a large chest freezer has a bigger footprint than an upright.
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:58 PM   #33
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I (a member of the male species) have fallen into the role of domestic engineer in charge of freezer capacity and utilization. The operational constraints placed on my duties are that we have enough food to eat when DW wants it, and not too much that it makes it impossible to access what we have.

As a result, we have very little waste, or "operational inefficiencies" as I call them. No 3 year old half off steaks (that were certainly a sweet deal back in 2007) covered in 6" of freezer frost. I'm the one telling DW "it's time to have steak and BBQ, they are reaching the 3 month mark!"
A few times, I have tried to reorganize the refers' freezers and made an inventory myself. I quickly gave up. The packages all looked the same, frozen stiff. And then, when I tried to put everything back, I couldn't. My wife knew how to pack them in, but for me, I could not slam the door fast enough so that the contents would not come tumbling out.

More than one time, I told my wife that we should just grab a package of "mystery" meat, and I myself would try to make a meal with it. That offended her, so I dropped it.

Oh well, there are more important things in life than the damn freezer contents, and it is not a bad thing I stay out of it.
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Old 01-03-2011, 02:14 PM   #34
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A few times, I have tried to reorganize the refers' freezers and made an inventory myself. I quickly gave up. The packages all looked the same, frozen stiff. And then, when I tried to put everything back, I couldn't. My wife knew how to pack them in, but for me, I could not slam the door fast enough so that the contents would not come tumbling out.

More than one time, I told my wife that we should just grab a package of "mystery" meat, and I myself would try to make a meal with it. That offended her, so I dropped it.

Oh well, there are more important things in life than the damn freezer contents, and it is not a bad thing I stay out of it.
To manage inventory and waste, you need to keep a Sharpie attached to the freezer and use writeable freezer containers/bags whenever possible. Just like the stores, you need to rotate your inventory, oldest first.
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Old 01-03-2011, 02:17 PM   #35
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I know! But I need my wife, who is in charge of it, to read this thread.

Like I said, it is often better just to overlook the idiosyncrasies of people around you. I am still learning that.

PS. I must be getting senile.

Just recalled that another reason, a more important one actually, is that I would not want DW to reciprocate and ask about the boxes of electronic parts I have in one spare bedroom, in the garage, etc... Of course she does not go up in the attic above the garage to see the vacuum tubes I stashed up there.
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Old 01-03-2011, 03:06 PM   #36
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snip... Just like the stores, you need to rotate your inventory, oldest first.
There's a product idea!

An upright freezer with two doors. One in front, one in back. The crap, uh, food gets loaded into the front. When you open the back door, whatever falls out, you eat that day! The perfect FIFO!

This would not work with a chest-type freezer... the Chinese would be eating the frozen food.
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Old 01-03-2011, 03:16 PM   #37
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Of course she does not go up in the attic above the garage to see the vacuum tubes I stashed up there.
I'm looking for some 813's. Have any?
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:57 PM   #38
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No, I don't have any.

Actually, I do not have many tubes. Have not climbed up to look inside that box in 20+ years, but if I remember correctly, they were mostly tubes that I bought as spares for my circa-1971 Tektronix scope, which is still in the garage and has not been turned on for 15 years. Been using the newer solid-state scopes, but I cannot bear to throw out the 50-lb monster. You see now why I should not pick on my wife's freezer compartments.
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:09 PM   #39
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I know! But I need my wife, who is in charge of it, to read this thread.

Like I said, it is often better just to overlook the idiosyncrasies of people around you. I am still learning that.

PS. I must be getting senile.

Just recalled that another reason, a more important one actually, is that I would not want DW to reciprocate and ask about the boxes of electronic parts I have in one spare bedroom, in the garage, etc... Of course she does not go up in the attic above the garage to see the vacuum tubes I stashed up there.
My greatest accomplishment in this area was getting the young wife to write the date on the rewrapped packages. It helps quite a bit.
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:12 PM   #40
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My greatest accomplishment in this area was getting the young wife to write the date on the rewrapped packages. It helps quite a bit.
My DW gets mad when I date stuff in the fridge or freezer - especially when I use BC and AD.
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